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The Reports of the Commissioners appointed to enquire into the state of Education in Wales. 1847

This report was published by three English university scholars into the educational system in Wales. The three were Lingen, Symons and Vaughan Johnson. The report unfairly drew attention to the inadequacy of Welsh education . One of their main points was that Welsh children , and often their teachers too, could not speak English. The report was produced in blue books, hence the name. Apart from , and because of, the understandable outrage of Welsh people the report helped to forge a  greater sense of national identity and the publication was referred to as "The Treachery of the Blue Books" [Brad y Llyfrau Gleison]. One of the principal Welshmen who fought a campaign against the report was Evan Jones , better known as Ieuan Gwynedd, a  minister and a journalist . One of the report's statements was that Welsh was a " peculiar language isolating the masses from the upper portion of society". Sadly, for the Welsh language, faced with such criticism many people did opt for an education in the English language despite the efforts of Ieuan Gwynedd and others. [ Based on an article in"A Helping Hand "by W J Jones 1996]

This is an extract by Aidan Jones from the actual Report as far as it relates to this parish;

LLANDIGWIDD

These very excellent schoolrooms in which these schools are held, are chiefly due to Mr. Brigstocke of Blaenpant, a gentleman of property in the neighbourhood, who contributed largely to build them.

I visited these schools on December 9th [1846] accompanied by Mr. Price, and in the presence of Mr. and Mrs. Brigstocke. The nature of the examination and its results in the boys' school was very similar to that of the other inferior day schools I have reported on.  The minds of the children appeared for the most part to be a perfect blank, and the master, in his attempt to question them on the Old Testament evinced his incompetency.  The school is alone useful in giving the power of reading English words and in teaching a few of the boys to write and cypher.  No system of instruction is pursued.

With the girls' school more pains is taken [sic].   It is orderly and neat; and the mistress, who appeared to be a very respectable person, is quite competent to teach reading and sewing.  Very little is learnt in the school.  To the questions I put on the Scriptures one or two only of the elder girls answered remarkably well; the younger ones were very slightly informed.  With the exception of two of the elder girls, none were able to explain the Church Catechism. One little girl persisted in saying that the articles of the Christian faith were men, and none were able to explain what they were.  All the questions were translated into Welsh by Mr. Price, when any doubt existed as to the girls' comprehension of them in English.  Pence were frequently offered for correct answers, and with the above-named exceptions, seldom obtained.  Cyphering was scarcely understood.  The writing was tolerably good.  

J. C. S.   [Jelingar C Symons, the chief commissioner in Cardiganshire]

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